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13 Books to Get Your Children Excited About Hiking

No matter what we are learning or experiencing as a family, I like to include some good books to go along with the subject or situation!  Since we have been working on a goal of hiking all the trails at our local nature center, I thought it was appropriate to bring some books about hiking and famous hikers (yes, there is such a thing!) into our home.  Here is a list of picture and chapter books to inspire your children to love hiking.  And at the end, there are some great reference books to help you plan and learn on your hikes.

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Picture Books About Hiking

Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Thermes

Grandma Gatewood was an “extreme hiker” and the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail solo in one season.  This picture book contains lots of details of her hikes as well as several maps of the trail.

Ellie’s Long Walk: The True Story of Two Friends on the Appalachian Trail by Pam Flowers

Children who love dogs will especially like this book about hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Little Naturalists: The Adventure of John Muir by Kate Coombs

John Muir is known as the “Father of National Parks” and is an interesting guy to learn about!  See below for some more detailed books about him.

The Berenstain Bears Blaze a Trail by Stan & Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears are always fun to read and of course, this book about Bear Scouts is full of problems they have to solve.Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by DB Johnson

Henry, named after Henry David Thoreau, and his friend take two different journeys to Fitchburg.  This is a great book to compare and contrast the journeys the characters take and discuss which journey you would like to do.

The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock

This picture book is great for young elementary students and provides a great historical context for the formation of our National Parks.

Chapter Books About Hiking

Skylar Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Gary and Brett Bond

This is a fictional story about a third grade girl who spends five days hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

Northbounders: 2,186 Miles of Friendship by Karen Lord Rutter

This is a great chapter book for children who love dogs.

John Muir: Candlewick Biographies: America’s First Environmentalist by Kathryn Lasky

This is a fun chapter book about John Muir’s life that also contains plenty of pictures.  It includes not only his outdoor adventures, but several inventions that he created.

John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Cornell

This book about John Muir is a little longer and aimed at middle schoolers.


Reference Books for Hiking

Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Hiking: All You Need to Know about Having Fun While Hiking

This book for upper elementary and middle school aged children contains just about everything you need to know to get started hiking.

Best Hikes with Children

This is a series of books that contains hiking trails that are appropriate for children in a variety of states.  The series primarily focuses on states in the northeast and the western United States.

Take Along Guides

So, I saved the best for the last because we love, love, love this series of reference books.  They are simple enough that they are easy to use to identify different items in nature without becoming overwhelmed.  But at the same time, they contain lots of great information!  You will want to check out all 13!

Do you have a favorite children’s hiking book that I should have included?  Comment with the name below!

Hiking Resources

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Suzanna

    I love this list. What a great idea for a book list! I’ll have to put some of these on hold at the library.

    1. Randi Smith

      We were able to find many of these in our library system so hopefully you will be able to, too!

  2. Dineo Dowd

    I have published hiking books for children. Both books are summer reading with diverse characters, please check them out

  3. Dineo

    I’m an author based in Wisconsin, I published two hiking books. Please check them out

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